Charley Molnar Announces Football Coaching Staff
March 5, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - As the UMass football program enters its first full season at the Football Bowl Subdivision and as a member of the Mid-American Conference, head coach Charley Molnar has assembled a veteran coaching staff with top-level experiences. The staff is comprised of coaches who have spent years at Bowl Championship Series (BCS) schools as well as time in the National Football League and the United Football League. The experienced staff has found success at every level of the college game and in the professional ranks as the Minutemen begin a new era of football in Amherst.
"I think the staff we have assembled has the knowledge, experience, and teaching tools to make us a successful program in all phases of the game," said Molnar. "This is a highly motivated group of professionals who know how to gain success not just in football, but in daily life. Their experiences as coaches and players will serve as the foundation for what we want to build here - championship caliber football played by championship caliber young men."
Molnar named Dave Sollazzo as the assistant head coach who will also be charged with coaching the defensive line.
Mike Kruczek as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Phil Elmassian (el-MAY-shun) will guide the defense and coach the linebackers.
Ron Hudson will serve as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach. Allen Suber will coach the wide receivers and Shane Waldron will coach the tight ends. Additionally, Suber will serve as the Pro Liaison, while Waldron will work as the recruiting coordinator.
Roderick Plummer will coach the running backs and be the special teams coordinator.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jeff Burris will coach the cornerbacks and serve as the community outreach coordinator for the program. Ted Daisher will coach the safeties after spending the past season at Bryant.
Graduate assistants Ryan Gold and Matt Loucks will return to the staff after working with the program last year. Jordan Jarry also returns for his second season as the Director of Football Operations, while Charley Molnar III joins the staff as a recruiting and operations graduate assistant.
Spring football practice will officially begin on March 27 with the Spring Game set for April 28.
The 2012 season will bring forth a new era in UMass football history as the Minutemen become members of the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference. Concurrent with the move will be a change in venue as well with UMass playing home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
In April 2011, it was announced that UMass would be making the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision level to the FBS level as a football-only member of the MAC. The Minutemen will be eligible for the MAC Championship and bowl participation in 2013.
The 2012 season will be the 130th for the UMass football program. UMass had been a FCS member since 1978 when the division was first formed. In that time span, UMass won 22 conference championships, made eight (8) NCAA Tournament appearances winning the 1998 National Championship Title and played in the NCAA Championship game three times (1978, 1998, and 2006). UMass was a member of the Yankee Conference, the Atlantic 10 and most recently the Colonial Athletic Association.
COACHING STAFF BIOS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER):
JEFF BURRIS - CORNERBACKS COACH / COMMUNITY OUTREACH
A consensus All-America pick and 1993 senior tri-captain at Notre Dame, Burris played free safety for the Irish. One of the top defensive players throughout his career, Burris and the Irish went 11-1 and finished second in the final national polls in 1993. He was a first round selection (27th pick) in the 1994 NFL Draft taken by the Buffalo Bills where he played for until 1998.
In his first year with the Bills, he earned the NFL All-Rookie team. In 1998, he was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts as a defensive back. In 2001, he was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played until 2003.
Beginning his coaching career in 2007, Burris worked as a secondary coach at Fishers High School, where he helped work on the technique of cornerbacks and safeties as well as installing a defensive schemes.
In Sept. 2008, served a coaching internship with the Buffalo Bills.
Burris joined the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions as the defensive backs coach in 2011 where he worked with long-time NFL head coach Dennis Green.
Burris is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina where he graduated from Northwestern High School.
TED DAISHER - SAFETIES COACH
Last season, Daisher coached at Bryant serving as the defensive backs coach following his seven years working in professional football. While in the professional ranks, he worked on the staffs of the Philadelphia Eagles (2004-05 & 2009), the Oakland Raiders (2006), the Cleveland Browns (2007-08) and the Hartford Colonials (2010, UFL). During his first stint with the Eagles, he worked as the special teams quality control coach and assistant defensive line coach for Andy Reid's squad that reached the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
At the collegiate level, the Michigan native has spent time at Illinois, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Cincinnati, Army, Indiana, and East Carolina. He helped Northern Illinois win the MAC Championship in 1983 and the California Bowl. He repeated those wins in 1987 with Eastern Michigan. In 2001, he served with East Carolina as the Pirates played in the GMAC Bowl.
Daisher graduated from Western Michigan where he was a letterwinner from 1975-77 as a wide receiver and defensive back. He and his wife Danielle have three children: Nicole, Ted and Taylor.
PHIL ELMASSIAN - DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR / LINEBACKERS COACH
Elmassian (pronounced el-MAY-shun) spent last season with Purdue marking his second coaching stint with the Boilermakers. Prior to that, he spent the two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Illinois State, and has served in the same capacity at West Virginia, LSU, Boston College and Virginia Tech, as well as the linebackers coach Marshall and defensive backs coach at Nebraska, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Minnesota and East Carolina. He has mentored 26 all-conference players, including two All-Americans, and has coached in 18 bowls in his career.
The veteran coach has been a part of championships in four conferences and has served as the defensive coordinator at five NCAA Division I FBS schools: Louisiana-Monroe, LSU, Virginia Tech, Boston College and West Virginia.
His five league titles include Marshall's Mid-American Conference Championship in 2002; Washington's Pac-10 Championship in 1995; and Virginia's Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 1989. He also helped lead Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl and Big Ten Championships in 1998 and 1999, as the Badger defense led the nation in scoring defense in 1998 and ranked fifth in 1999.
With Elmassian on staff, the 2003 Boilermakers finished third in the Big Ten in scoring, rushing and total defense and fourth in the league in pass defense. Purdue ranked second in the Big Ten, and 19th in the nation, in pass efficiency defense in 2003, and also ranked 13th nationally in total defense.
During Elmassian's stint at Wisconsin, the Badgers led the nation in scoring defense in 1998 (11.9 points per game) and ranked fifth in 1999 (12.8). They were No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense, total defense (298.1 - 15th nationally) and passing defense (97.9 - fifth nationally) in 1999. Wisconsin became the first Big Ten school to win back-to-back Rose Bowls in 1998 and 1999, defeating the high-powered offenses of UCLA and Stanford. All four of the Badgers' defensive backs earned first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference honors in 1999. Cornerback Jamar Fletcher led the nation in interceptions in 1998 with seven and went on to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, earn consensus All-America honors and win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's outstanding defensive back in 2000.
Elmassian (born April 28, 1951) is a 1974 graduate of William and Mary, where he played defensive back under Lou Holtz. He and his wife, Mary, have three children, Claire, Dylan and Olivia.
RON HUDSON - RUN GAME COORDINATOR / OFFENSIVE LINE COACH
Under Hudson's supervision, the Cajuns produced one of the nation's most dominating running games. UL finished in the top-15 in the nation in rushing offense four times, ranking 7th in 2005 and 2007. Additionally, three times the Cajuns placed in the top-15 for fewest sacks allowed.
In 2005 when UL was Sun Belt Conference champions, Hudson tutored an offensive line that paved the way for a school record 2,797 rushing yards and 34 rushing TDs. UL allowed just nine sacks - the fourth lowest total in the country. That rushing record didn't stand long as the Cajuns ran for 3,019 yards in 2007, including 1,000-yard rushing performances from QB Michael Desormeaux and RB Tyrell Fenroy. UL became the first team in Sun Belt history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a season. The offensive line ranked 19th nationally in fewest sacks allowed.
A national finalist for 2008 offensive line coach of the year, Hudson tutored seven All-Sun Belt performers from 2006-08, including three-time All-SBC tackle Jesse Newman. Newman was the third overall selection in the 2008 Canadian Football League Draft.
Fenroy was the biggest piece to the Cajuns' ground game, amassing 4,646 yards and 48 TDs from 2005-08. He became just the seventh player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards four times.
Hudson came to UL after serving as the offensive line coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville. He coached three all-conference players, including Roy Stroud, who was a Division II All-American. Kingsville was ranked as one of the top five Division II programs in the nation.
Prior to his appointment with the Javelinas, Hudson spent three seasons at UTEP. He was tight ends coach in 2001-02 and promoted to defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator in 2003.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Hudson received bachelor's degrees in physical education and history from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio in 1987. He added a master's in physical education from Louisville in 1992.
MIKE KRUCZEK - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR / QUARTERBACKS
Over the last seven years, Kruczek has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the professional level working with the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions.
At the collegiate level, he served six years as the head coach of Central Florida following a 12-year stint as the Knights' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. During his tenure in Orlando, Kruczek coached future NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper, led UCF to a win over Alabama, and guided the program as it transitioned to the Mid-American Conference.
He began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach at Florida State in 1982 where he worked two seasons under legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden.
Kruczek was an All-American standout quarterback at Boston College graduating in 1975. In 1974, he set the NCAA pass completion percentage record (68.9%) and served as Team Captain in 1975. He was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.
Professionally, he was picked in the second round (47th overall) of the 1976 NFL Draft playing for four seasons with Pittsburgh before concluding his NFL career in 1980 with Washington. He won two Super Bowl rings (1978, 1979) with Pittsburgh and in 1976 as a rookie helped the Steelers to the AFC title game.
Kruczek and his wife Leigh have two children, Kelly and Garrett.
RODERICK PLUMMER - SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR / RUNNING BACKS
For the past decade, Plummer has coached special teams with three of his players either being drafted or picked up as free agents with the National Football League.
His coaching career includes stops at Florida A&M, Idaho, Cornell, and Michigan State where he coached under Nick Saban and Bobby Williams.
Plummer began his coaching career in 1994 with Kutztown University. He also served National Footbal League Coaching Internships with Philadelphia, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Cleveland.
A native of Oakland, Calif., Plummer is a 1993 graduate of Washington State where he was a four-year letter winner and starting linebacker for the Cougars. In 2002, he was inducted into the St. Mary's College High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
DAVE SOLLAZZO - ASSISTANT HEAD COACH / DEFENSIVE LINE
Sollazzo spent the 2011 season coaching the defensive line at Villanova where the Wildcats led the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing defense.
Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons at the University of Maryland where he also coached the defensive. He served as the Terrapin recruiting coordinator for his final five years in College Park. During his last four years at Maryland, the Terps signed 72 student-athletes ranked among the top 100 nationally at their positions, including 17 All-Americans.
In 2010 at Maryland, Sollazzo guided defensive lineman Joe Vellano to second team All-ACC honors and he helped the Terrapins to the second biggest turn around in the country going from 2-10 in 2009 to 9-4 in 2010. Maryland closed out the 2010 campaign with a victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.
Prior to his 10-year stint at Maryland, Sollazzo spent two seasons (1999-00) as the defensive tackles coach at Georgia Tech. Before he arrived at Georgia Tech, Sollazzo was the defensive line coach at his alma mater, The Citadel, from 1989-98. As a player, Sollazzo was a defensive lineman at The Citadel from 1973-76.
Sollazzo and his wife Ellen reside in Phoenixville, Pa., with their nine-year old son Christopher.
ALLEN SUBER - WIDE RECEIVERS COACH / PRO LIAISON
A Bethune-Cookman, Suber spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach under Brian Jenkins. During the early months of 2011, Suber was promoted by Jenkins to the role of Recruiting Coordinator. In his time coaching the Wildcats, he oversaw a group that helped to make B-CU among one of the top offensive teams in the nation, which hauled in 146(receivers only) passes for 2,191 yards, and were a major contributing factor in returning a MEAC Championship trophy to B-CU for the first time since Suber was in the backfield.
"Suberman" led one of the greatest eras of B-CU from 1999-2003, including the 2002 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship team that finished 11-2, the program's first and second appearances in the NCAA I-AA playoffs, and consecutive victories over Florida A&M, featuring the 2003 victory where Suber rallied the Wildcats from a 28-10 halftime deficit and hit Eric Weems, now with the Atlanta Falcons for a late TD in a thrilling 39-35 victory.
He was the 2003 MEAC offensive player of the year and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award that year. Suber still holds two Wildcat career rushing records for yards (2,897) and touchdowns (39). Additionally, he was a two-time All-American earning the accolades as a junior (2002) and senior (2003).
Suber was on the rosters of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texas before being allocated to the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe.
His first coaching opportunity came in 2006 when he oversaw B-CU quarterbacks in spring drills. He also participated in a 2007 scouting internship with the Jaguars.
As an offensive coordinator for Treasure Coast High School, Suber helped a young program coming off a 3-17 record its first two seasons into a squad into a squad that won its district and first state playoff.
SHANE WALDRON - TIGHT ENDS COACH / RECRUITING COORDINATOR
In 2010, Waldron served as the wide receivers coach for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.
Prior to his stint in the UFL, Waldron worked with the New England Patriots for a number of years. Beginning in 2002, Waldron served as an operations intern, helping to prep game plans and playbooks, as well as assisting in the day to day running of an NFL team. In 2004, Waldron was promoted to the title of an operations assistant, handling special teams quality control duties and overseeing the completion of weekly game plans.
After leaving the Patriots to coach at Notre Dame, Waldron returned to New England in 2008 where he served as a Quality Control Coach for the offensive. Here, he helped to implement and develop the offensive system. In 2009, he served as the tight ends coach creating and implement a strategic and successful offense. From 2005 until 2007, Waldron worked at Notre Dame as an Offensive Graduate Assistant, evaluating recruits, helping to run special teams, and assisting with the coaching line. With the Irish, he was a part of two of the most explosive offenses in school history as both the 2005 and 2006 units averaged at least 31 points per game and 389 yards. During his time there he helped coach an offense that included Brady Quinn, Darius Walker and Jeff Samardzija.
Most recently, Waldron worked as an offensive coordinator at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols High School in 2011 and also as a Northeast Sports Consultant. In both jobs, Waldron gained experience working with high school talent.
A native of Portland, Ore., Waldron is a 2002 graduate of Tufts University where he was a three-year letterman as a tight end and long snapper.
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